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Coloring lines


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Im not sure if this belongs here and if not im sorry. I'm currently working on Midwests Sharpie Shooner and in the directions it has to color the lines just dip in coffee. Thing is I don't have coffee. Yes I'm not a coffee drinker. I do drink tees which got me to thinking. What other household items can be used to dye string? How long would you leave it dipped for?


Current builds: San Fran II AL, Santa Maria AL

Finished Builds: Sharpie Shooner Midwest

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Hi Tim, I use a wood dye; Dark Jacobean Oak is my colour of choice for standing rigging, as it produces a more scale black to my eye than purchased line. For the running rigging I tend to buy a natural coloured line.


I hardly leave the line in the dye for any time at all; feed it in to a container then pull it through a paper towel and it's done.


Using Coffee or tea has never appealed to me as a medium for colouring rigging line.








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You are far better off usiing a dye or stain.   Tea and coffee are both acidic and will quickly deteriorate any thing cloth such as sails or line.  For black, you could also use India Ink. 

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

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Stay away from coffee and tea.  After a few years they will make the line deteriorate.  Use a dye like Ritt or Minwax stain

David B

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Perhaps a dumb question, but if you are making your own rope with a ropewalk, do you dye the component threads first?  Or do you dye the finished rope once it's made up?




Robert, if you go to the thread below (or here http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/702-coloring-handmade-rigging-line/) you might find the answer from others such as Chuck, our master modeler. 


I think the easiest way is to dye the rope after it has been made. The dyes penetrate the yarns well enough and probably more evenly if you make the rope first. At least when I dye my rope and yarns (some I use without making them into rope because of the small diameters involved) they don't all come out the same hue. That is fine with me because on real ships they are never the same color due to age and usage. But to blend two different colors into one rope would look odd.



Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10120-cross-section-forward-area-of-the-uss-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/103-uss-constitution-by-modeler12/


'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .

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... I have minwax stains around and will try those.

Please, can you tell me what is minwax? What is it's use in everyday life?

Thank you :)

Kind regards,

Hrvoje :)


Finished: Leut by Dida

My current build: Leut II


My forum dealing with traditional Croatian and Mediterranean shipbuilding: http://drvenibrodovi.forumotion.eu.


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Minwax is a brand (http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/stains-color-guide/?gclid=CIyls7er2LUCFWhyQgodN2QA0w) for staining and finishing products. The typical uses are for real sized furniture or house fixtures like windowsills. Some formulations have additional protective ingredients like staining and sealing at once.  Hope this helps



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